The other day I was asked what my worst experience as a customer was. I had a few answers that sprang to mind but it got me thinking.
I have had a number of bad experiences like rude wairesses, dirty and unhelpful hotels, slap dash meals I mean please everyone has been on the receiving end of badly trained staff. However in my years of working within the hospitality and catering industry I have met a much larger number of, well for want of a better word, “Bad customers”.
~I am talking about the man who will lick his plate clean and then at the end of his three courses tell you that his starter was more like water than soup, his steak was so over cooked that he could not chew it properly and his dessert contained nothing but cream (when he ordered ice cream) . Thus expecting you to provide a substantial discount to his bill. There are people out there that firmly believe a 2 star credited hotel should provide you with a mini fridge and free bottled water in their room when they are paying a mere £65 for the room & breakfast.
I have had a guest spend thirty minutes yelling, to the point when she went almost purple in the face, at me because she did not read the pay and display sign in the car park that, very clearly, states than in Wales blue badge holders get an extra hour of time but still have to pay the required fee to park. Aparently this is, naturally, my fault and I should pay her fine as I did not make it clear when she told me she was going shopping forty miles away. She negleted to tell me she had a blue badge when she booked a parking space at the hotel and walked over 100 meters from the car to the entrance and pulling her suitcase.
Lets think about this for a second shall we. The government has invested god only knows how much money into training schemes to help small & large businesses to train their staff to the adequate levels we expect as a nation. Private Training companies are making an absolute fortune teaching idiotic waiters how to be polite and how to tuck in their shirts when at work. Should the same not apply to vile and rude customers to frequent these public places? Should we start to look at ourselves as customers and our behaviour, which I have found can be most antaganising on times, before we judge the staff? Given that one member of staff can deal with over one hundred different customers in one shift and on average at least 4 or 5 of them will push every idiotic button there is. Then can be run ragged by just one fussy customer who insists on having your full attention at all times. Who is continuously rude, apressive and demanding. Most staff can deal with them and do it all with a smile and a curtsey.
There will come a time when the wrong agitated customer and the over run member of staff will come head to head and the fireworks will start. This is a sight I have come ever so close to witnessing a few times but have managed to remove the staff just in time to avoid the head on collision.
I think, and it is just that my thorghts, that we should have a central training program started for such guests. The ones who will do everything and anything to make sure it is not their fault and if they throw their toys out of the pram hard enough they will get everything for nothing.
Now that I have that off my chest I can resume my customer based day. Happy customering.